Why do you insist on eating dogs? It being that there are no doggies amongst the denizens of the deep, I am curious how you developed such peculiar eating habits....
A Bayside Reader
My Dearest Reader-by-the-Bay,
You have clearly been listening to the theme anthem from the short-lived 1970s cartoon documentary of my ongoing adventures (or the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)—or are simply a long-standing and dedicated reader of my column, a fact which both humbles and delights me.
I would like to take this moment to give thanks to you, Humble and Dedicated Readers, without whom all of this would continue to be possible, but would likely seem quite quixotic. Always remember: All that separates the much-admired web columnist and the mumbling street lunatic is readership. And health insurance, which the unemployed have through our Fair and Noble Government, but which we gainfully self-employed entrepreneurs lack entirely.
(I would also like to assert, for the records both real and numinous, that all Filmation creditors who seek the recompense for our 1970's caricatured jaunt: I am, the broke.)In any event, I insist on eating the dogs because, as the mighty Chinese have made clear, "dog meat is good for your health and metabolism"; it warms the body in the winters, and gives one the dis-enervating sweats in the summers. Apart from being good for you, dog is simply good: their striated muscle lies easy on the tongue and stomach; their smooth muscle exercises the beak and "polishes" the senses; their sweatbreads delight the palate and stimulate the nerves; their loyalty, trustworthiness, and sorrow gambol about the alimentary canal in death just as the dog itself gamboled ball-chasingly about public parks in life.
And, even beyond being simply healthful and delicious, dogflesh is also lucky and cost-effective (in contrast to whale meat, which much as it is a bitter nemesis, is a bitter meat, luckless, and over-priced, especially when one must factor in the amortization of legal fees). As becomes clear, the question is hardly, "Why do you, Oh Dear and Insightful Giant Squid, eat dog meat?" but rather "Why do I—the reader—not eat of the dogs?"
(As an aside, it is likely that the answer to this latter-most question is "Because you are callow, weak-jointed, and cowardly"—but do not permit your failings to "get you downs"; a quick meal of fried Clumber Spaniel strips is veritably guaranteed to leave you as perky and brave as a youthful Maltipoo!)
As to how I came to embrace this wholesome and healthful culinary habit, it was the mid-1420s, as I recall. I had recently graduated from university, and was taking some "me time" to "see the world," which largely involved becoming inebriated with friends, whiling away my days at idle speculations and board games, and attacking ships in the ill-named Pacific (which is actually quite the rowdiest of oceans, especially on Thursday through Saturday nights). Like your own human young adult wastrels, I also took to eating a great deal of Chinese during this period. One Tuesday afternoon I found myself sober and the grouchy, laying waste to an abnormally large Chinese junk anchored in the protected bay which snuggles behind the peninsula now known as your own San Francisco. I had already consumed five of the brave Chinese seamen, all the while yammering their inscrutable and deeply accented Mandarin. As I was about to "pop the top" on my sixth Chinamen, he suddenly shifted from Mandarin—which I did not speak—to a serviceable, if somewhat stiff, Arabic (which I had learned at university; I had, in fact, completed my own poetic translation of the "Mad Arab" Abdul Al-hazred's classic as a part of my dissertation).
"I would not eat me!" He shouted almost hopelessly, as a condemned man rattles the spokes of the Catherine Wheel. When I paused, his realization of my comprehension blossomed across his face like a fire across dry wheat fields. I held this man, who turned out to be the ships captain, then called Zheng He, aloft and awaited details.
"I would not eat me," he repeated, visibly gathering his thoughts. "I would not eat me, honored Shaykh, for . . . for, whilst caught in the equatorial calms I was obliged to eat swine!" He calmed himself, "Despite my deepest wishes to do otherwise, I partook of swine, as is the habit of these godless Confucians. I ate swine, and am thus unclean." Zheng made much show of his unhappiness at this shameful revelation. "Pitiably polluted. Not at all suitable to eat. And have yet to take the opportunity to again gain ritual purification for myself. Thus, I much regret that I cannot . . . offer myself for your culinary enjoyment."
This, of course, left us at an impasse, for I was still peckish and cross. I was just about to put aside my natural aversion to parasites and general disgust for all things haraam, and partake of Zheng himself, when he pointed out that while he had little to offer me, the aboriginals populating the adjacent shores kept domesticated dogs—delicious, delicious dogs.
"And . . . as . . . as you are no doubt well aware, esteemed Hajji, dogs . . . as you certainly already know, honorable squid, the dog occupies the opposite space from the squid on the Five Dimensional Color Wheel."
I had never heard any of this, even at Miskie U., but nodded my head in the manner of all ignorant recent-graduates.
"Dogs, they are kind-hearted, color blind, and have no external astral spirit pair—in stark contrast to large and noble squid, so blessed with the optically perfect eye and incisive external astral . . . um . . . form. Dogs are the only creatures to coexist materially in all planes of existence," Zheng's eyes cast about, as though searching for a misplaced cue card, "So . . . so then, it is certain that eating of them shall . . . quickly and assuredly . . ." his eyes popped open, clear and radiant, and locked with mine own, "So such a dish will certainly and immediately open the secret chakras radiating around your beak. Your razor sharp beak."
"AND YOU KNOW OF WHERE WE CAN ACQUIRE SUCH A DISH, WELL PREPARED AND AT A PRICE THAT WILL NOT STRAIN MY FINANCES, AS I AM CURRENTLY AWAITING A PAYCHECK WHICH NO DOUBT WILL ARRIVE THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW IF NOT SOONER?"
Zheng nodded with great vigor, "Certainly! Oh, certainly, Hajji! I have not made landfall here in the past, but I am certain . . . quite, quite certain that if you should deliver me safely and carefully to the shallow lands—and especially if you might rear behind me, waving your many and honored arms high in the air as I negotiate with the aboriginals, I am quite certain that we shall acquire a feast of dogs which you will not soon forget!" He paused for effect, and clearly somewhat concerned about my apparent ambivalence, quickly added "FREE OF CHARGE!"
And, being agreeable to such arrangements, we made for shore, and it was true: In a lifetime of of eating dog's in a variety of preparations I have seldom enjoyed a meal more, and it was free of charge.
Your Giant Squid
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